Perhaps boosted by the leading eight Golden Globes nominations it received, "Chicago," the Kander-Ebb musical adapted to film by writer Bill Condon, earned $2.1 million in 77 theaters according to preliminary figures, averaging $27,300 per-theater. ("The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" at No. 1 last week averaged $30,686 per screen.) The eagerly-awaited film will hit 300 other screens Jan. 3, 2003, before rolling out across the country later in the month. Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones head the star-studded cast of the movie musical as Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, respectively. The duo are joined by Richard Gere, who portrays the slimy lawyer Billy Flynn. Queen Latifah as Matron Mama Morton and John C. Reilly as shlubby hubby Amos Hart also join the cast.
Featuring a screenplay by Bill Condon, "Chicago" marks the feature-film debut for Rob Marshall, a six-time Tony Award nominee for his work on Damn Yankees, Little Me, She Loves Me, Kiss of the Spider Woman and Cabaret.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association nominated "Chicago" director Marshall and writer Condon as well as the movie itself. Zellweger and Zeta-Jones will vie against each other for the Best Actress award while Gere, Latifah and Reilly will contend with other movie's nominees in their prospective categories.